Where to Drink on Madeira

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Barreirinha Bar Café

Our favourite place for Friday-night sundowner, this alfresco café and bar always has music at the weekend, ranging from live folk to rock and DJ sets. Set just above the Lido bathing complex, by Socorro Church, drinkers can enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean from every seat on the terrace. The cocktails and mocktails are expertly crafted, with many featuring island fruits and herbs, and nibbles are also available. It’s open throughout the day and the fun doesn’t stop until 2am at the weekend. 

Address

Largo do Socorro, 9060-305 Funchal

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Maktub

With a name that loosely translates as ‘destiny’, Maktub should be high on your list for an adventure when in Paul do Mar, on Madeira’s southern coast. On a busy night, off-duty surfers spill out from the rustic shack and fill up the promenade of this usually sleepy spot. The sunsets are legendary, music on-point (with several festivals and concerts taking place throughout the year) and drinks fruity and fast-flowing. The food menu, meanwhile, offers prime local fish and seafood (sometimes including lobster) and a huge T-bone steak.

Address

Avenida dos Pescadores Paulenses 160, 9370-545 Paul do Mer

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Venda Velha

The official Madeira cocktail is the poncha, and the best time to try it is at the weekend, around midnight, at this former grocer´s shop, where you can sip different variations in buzzy surrounds. The traditional recipe is made with a sugarcane spirit, lemon juice and sugar, though the passionfruit and tangerine versions are also well worth trying.

Address

Rùa de Santa Maria 170, 9060-291 Funchal

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É Prà Poncha – Bar Number Two

Câmara de Lobos is the poncha (and general drinking) capital of the island, and this lively bar bursts at the seams, with everyone shouting out orders and grabbing peanuts to graze on while chatting with friends on the street outside. Apart from the poncho, you can also try the pé de cabra, with a base of dry Madeira wine, or the Nikita, a punchy cocktail that includes pineapple ice cream.

Address

Rùa da Carreira 2, Largo do Poço, 9300-113 Câmara de Lobos

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Galáxia Skybar

Take the glass lift from street level and enjoy panoramic views as you ascend one of the tallest buildings on the island, the opulent new Savoy Palace Hotel. The rooftop bar features vast glass panels surrounding the terrace, so you can see Funchal Bay in all its glory, illuminated by the sweep of buildings around it. Classic cocktails and good wines combined with smooth lounge music make this a very good place for a high-end (and high-up) drink or three. 

Address

Avenida do Infante 25, 9004-542 Funchal

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Design Centre Nini Andrade Silva

Internationally renowned, award-winning Madeiran designer Nini Andrade Silva has created her vision of the world in this inspiring seaside tower. Take the lift up from the harbour to the fortress and enjoy a refreshing drink at the DC Cafeteria Lounge. From here you get a bird’s-eye view of the amphitheatre that encircles Funchal, which is even more magical at night.

Address

Estrada da Pontinha, Forte de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, 9000-726 Funchal